I've recently decided to get a bit more sound quality from my desktop and bought a pair of QPAD QH-85 and I'm looking into pairing them with a decent sound-card. Since I've started looking for one I've bumped into a whole bunch of threads discussing impedance, DACs, opamps and other terms i'm largely clueless as to what they mean exactly and how they work together. What managed to get stuck in my head so far is that:
- i need to match the impedance of my headphones with the output impedance of the soundcard, otherwise either I get low volume sound or chunky and distorted bass (depending on the ratio between the impedance of the headset vs. the source's)
- i need to look for a sound-card with a decent DAC as that will influence the sound quality
Then again there's also the possibility of getting Dolby Digital and DTS support (which I understand is useful in gaming and watching movies), but that is not really a priority since I will be primarily using the headphones for music.
These being said, I'm looking into buying a sound-card in the 50-100$ range, and the options available in my part of the world revolve mainly around Creative and Asus models. My first impulse would be to go for the Asus Xonar D1/DX1 but I'm not quite sure if it fairs well with the 60 Ohm impedance of my headset (it doesn't have a headphone amplifier). Though the Xonar DG has a built-in headphone amplifier, I don't know if the DAC it comes with is decent enough to provide some audio quality. The reason why I didn't do some serious research on what Creative has to offer is that they seem to have a very poor driver support.